Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Mara Figure Incense Holder From Ceylon

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1920: Item # 693739

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A metal incense burner from Ceylon is cast to represent the Buddhist demon Mara as part bird, part human. Mara is the Buddhist personification of the temptations of the world, and takes different forms in the iconography, sometimes appearing as various creatures and demons, sometimes as a young and handsome human. The story of Mara and his armies attempting to lure Buddha away from the path to enlightenment as he meditated under the Bodhi tree provides many icons in the Buddhist pantheon. We have seen few representations of Mara, however, outside monasteries and temples. Generally the icon used in connection with the story is that of the earth goddess who appeared at the Bodhi tree and defeated Mara and his armies by drowning them in water wrung from her long hair. This unusual early 20th century incense holder is roughly cast of blackened brass. The Mara figure is solid metal; the incense cage is stamped to simulate woven wire and rests on four short legs. No attempt was made to beautify this piece, perhaps in keeping with the symbolism. It is in solid condition. Dimensions: height 8" (20 cm), width 7" (18 cm), depth 6" (15 cm). SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM